New Tariffs Set to go into Effect on September 1 and December 15

New Tariffs Set to go into Effect on September 1 and December 15


The Vision Council would like to alert members that Chinese-origin spectacle lenses, spectacle frames, sunglasses, reading glasses, eyeglasses, safety glasses, goggles and many low vision devices will be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff starting Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec. 15, 2019.

Earlier today, the Trump administration set forth two sub-lists of tariff numbers included in the fourth tranche of China 301 tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2019, and Dec. 15, 2019. These two lists—4A and 4B—include optical products and are scheduled to be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff. Read the full press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), here. See below for the two divisions of list four.

List 4A (Effective September 1):

  • 9001.40.00 - Spectacle lenses of glass, unmounted
  • 9001.50.00 - Spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted
  • 9003.11.00 - Frames and mountings, of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • 9003.19.00 - Frames and mountings, other than of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • 9003.90.00 - Parts of frames and mountings for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • 9004.10.00 - Sunglasses, corrective, protective or other
  • 9004.90.00 - Spectacles, goggles and the like, corrective, protective or other, other than sunglasses
  • 9005.10.00 - Binoculars

List 4B (Effective December 15):

  • 9005.80.40 - Optical telescopes, including monoculars

Earlier this summer, The Vision Council advocated for the removal of optical products from this fourth list of tariff numbers. That process included:

  • Submitting comments with the USTR opposing the inclusion of optical products on the fourth list because they are medical devices
  • Testifying before the USTR by The Vision Council Chairman Ken Bradley in support of our comments and concerns
  • Creating an ad hoc coalition of optical and eyecare related trade associations and other groups, which in turn submitted its own comments opposing the proposed inclusion of optical products
  • Circulating The Vision Council's comments on Capitol Hill as well as within the White House

The September 1 and December 15 dates do nothing to alter the China 301 tariffs currently in effect. Any Products impacted by those tariffs corresponding with the first, second and third China 301 lists will continue to be assessed an additional 25 percent tariff on Chinese-origin goods.

The Vision Council will continue to monitor the situation and notify members of any changes.

Any questions about this issue can be directed to Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council regulatory affairs counsel, at

Government and Regulatory Affairs
General Updates from The Vision Council
Sunglass & Reader Division
Lens Division
Lab Division
Lens Processing Technology Division
Low Vision Division
Optical Retail Division
Eyewear & Accessories Division